This section from Kham Duc to Kon Tum is the eighteenth instalment of my bicycle ride from Yunnan to Cambodia – if all goes according to plan. Titled “Slap the Belgian!”, it is simultaneously published on Crazyguyonabike.com, where you’ll find a map with the itinerary and many other bicycle diaries by me and others. I hope you’ll enjoy.

We’d agreed that Tu would take a bus to Kon Tum so she could skip a couple of rides and rest her muscles. I, on the other hand, was going to try to ride to Kon Tum in the shortest time possible – perhaps spending the night in Plei Kan. In return, Tu takes all my luggage and I just take the very necessary: toothbrush, some soap, fresh underwear, an extra jumper and the bottle of opium poppy liquor Tu’s dad had given me.

Kham Duc market
Eating bún and some bánh mì at the market in Kham Duc

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This section from Thanh My to Kham Duc is the seventeenth instalment of my bicycle ride from Yunnan to Cambodia – if all goes according to plan. Titled “Slap the Belgian!”, it is simultaneously published on Crazyguyonabike.com, where you’ll find a map with the itinerary and many other bicycle diaries by me and others. I hope you’ll enjoy.

The day begins brilliantly as both of us awake at 8.30am in an almost perfectly quiet hotel room on a perfectly hard bed (we both like hard mattresses). To make matters even better, the sun is shining outside and the smell of rainforest humidity creeps through our bathroom window. The latter pleases me more than Tu, who seems to be well used to hot tropical humidity. For me, it invariably conjures up memories of holidays and adventure.

We pay a visit to Hai Lua, our beloved country bumpkin, who seems to have at least a vague recollection of who we are after last night presumed drinking spree with his friends and newly-weds. A lot less talkative but no less smiling, he gets to work and serves some of the best bun we’ve had in a while. To our relief, the liquor he had promised to share does not appear on the table – I’m sure it’s the last thing he wants to sniff today.

Hai Lua makes us a great Bún to start the day!
Hai Lua makes us a great Bún to start the day!

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This section from Hoi An to Thanh My is the sixteenth instalment of my bicycle ride from Yunnan to Cambodia – if all goes according to plan. Titled “Slap the Belgian!”, it is simultaneously published on Crazyguyonabike.com, where you’ll find a map with the itinerary and many other bicycle diaries by me and others. I hope you’ll enjoy.

After sleeping a considerably better sleep in the Phuc An hotel, we find the streets of Hoi An shiny with rain. Though the actual rain has ceased, we put off our ride by wolfing down the complimentary hotel breakfast, followed by a second breakfast at a restaurant that made vegetarian versions of popular Vietnamese foods. We have fried won-tons and a rice flour dough creation called white rose. Both taste great!

Back at the hotel, we get Tu’s bike fixed to eliminate her wheel wobbling and to stop her pedal from moving clicking. When we can find no more reasons to procrastinate, we leave this pretty town and head west towards a much grimmer destination: the poorest regions on the Ho Chi Minh highway, near the Lao and Cambodian borders.

Ducks on a motorbike
Ducks on a motorbike

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